Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tippi Hedren Loves More Than Just The Birds

Article first published as Tippi Hedren Loves More Than Just The Birds on Technorati.

By Bryan Cain-Jackson

Legendary film actress, Tippi Hedren, has been in show business for more than 60 years. Starting at the ripe age of 20, her first film where she was not even credited for her role as an ice box petty girl to her breakout success in the role of Melanie Daniels, the cool blonde in the Alfred Hitchcock classic “The Birds.” From working with Ed Wood Jr. to working with the Master of Suspense, Tippi has certainly been there for the best era in film.

We know her mainly as the beautiful blonde that stood defenselessly in the phone booth amidst chaos caused by a flock of menacing ravens trying to get to her. That scene was one of the most memorable in history.

The Tippi Hedren we should all know better is the woman who is just as beautiful on the inside and she is on the outside. Tippi Hedren, mother of actress Melanie Griffith, grandmother, and animal rights activist. Tippi has been caring for wildlife animals for nearly 40 years, to put it charitably, it is her passion.

In 1983, Tippi started the Roar Foundation. This foundation’s sole responsibility is to support the abandoned exotic felines at the Shambala Preserve.

Tippi talked about the challenges, costs, and excitement of formation and maintaining of the Roar Foundation and the Shambala Preserve and Animal Sanctuary in Acton, California 45 minutes northeast of Los Angeles.

“It was huge, absolutely huge.” Hedrin recalled. “We were making a film about the animals at the time, the funds from the film lasted a few years it was gone. So I formed the organization to accept donations, as well as to educate.” She said. “I have to raise $75,000 a month. It is a very expensive feat.”

Tippi is extremely disappointed with the continued treatment of animals; she is very sharp and forthright with her continued battle against the inequities of mankind against nature.

“We rescue these animals. They are all born in the United States to be sold as pets, and of course they are not pets.” Hedren spoke sternly. “They are bred and born here to be (household) pets or for financial gain,” she said, “It’s a huge business, according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife, it’s on par with the sale of illegal drugs.”

Not only is this illegal, it is extremely dangerous. The lack of knowledge in this area is very alarming, and quite sad.

“It is sad, and it’s sad for two reasons,” Hedren said, “One is that these animals should not be born into captivity, and it’s extremely dangerous for humans.”
These are all things that are clearly violations of an animal’s rights. Tippi has become actively involved in the increasing of those rights on a political level.

“I co-authored a bill in 2003 to stop the interstate traffic of these animals to be sold as pets,” she said, “I testified for the bill and it is titled the Captive Wildlife Safety Act, which prevents the animals from being sold by the breeder out of their state. It was a baby step and it took 2 years for it be enforced. The bill was signed December 19, 2003.” Hedren said proudly.

Tippi does acknowledge that there is still more work to be done, and she is working on another bill that will further act in the best wishes of animals out there. In the meantime, she enjoys the visits from people who love animals the way she does.

The Shambala Preserve is also the home to Michael Jackson’s two Bengal Tigers named Thriller and Sabu. The preserve will be benefit greatly from the auction of the Michael Jackson Thriller Jacket as it is the main consigner. “We are very excited,” Hedren said, “Thriller and Sabu are living wonderful life here.”

Tippi Hedren does have one belief that she tries to instill in every one.

“There is nothing that we can give an animal that they need, nothing at all. They just need to be free, and we do our best to let them do what they need to do.”

For more from Tippi on Thriller and Sabu, please see my Technorati article “Thriller Jacket: Where The Money’s Going.”

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